Notarizing Your Own Signature

Avoid Notarizing Your Own Signature   
ASN Hot Tip, June 2009-#2

A member who is a municipal employee recently encountered another municipal agency’s requirement that put her in a tight spot.

The other agency wanted our member to translate a document into English, sign the translation, and affix her notary seal to it. The other agency insisted that the translator be a notary for this purpose.

This, of course, was clearly improper. We told our member that her only option under the circumstances would be to attach an Affidavit of Translator to the translated document. In an Affidavit of Translator, the translator swears or affirms that he or she knows both languages, can translate from one into the other, and that the translation is complete and accurate. A notary administers an oath to the translator, who signs the affidavit in the presence of the notary.

BUT, in order to execute the Affidavit of Translator, our member—who was the translator—would need to find another notary to administer an oath to her for completion of the jurat on the affidavit.

WARNING: Should any notary mistakenly complete and sign/seal an Affidavit of Translator without the involvement of a second notary to administer the oath (and to subsequently sign/seal the jurat at the bottom of the affidavit), then that notary has notarized his or her own signature. That’s strictly illegal.
Always Remember: If acting as the sole notary in a transaction, you must never sign on any signature line that is indicated as requiring notarization, or you will be notarizing your own signature.
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